sherry turkle

sherry turkle

adding page while reading reclaiming conversation. [have taken her in before, mostly from others’ reviews et al, and her ted, and papert, .. but haven’t ever really read her, ie: alone together. inkling to read her reclaiming convo came from s’s cs lewis/convo share]

much great insight in the book (just 1/3 in – notes below). perhaps why we’re missing us..perpetuate\ing not us though.. is because we often find things to blame/reclaim from that are not quite deep enough.. to get us back/to us. ie: reclaiming convo begs we go way deeper than tech. tech is showing/telling us there’s something deeper wrong with the day. [ie: bratton new techs law et al]

perhaps we reclaim convo from all the supposed to’s [ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work] already taking up the day. the things causing us to take up – seek out – any alternative. things causing us already keeping us from breathing/solitudeing/et al.


(published 2015)

reclaiming convo posts

we talk enough but not conversation ,samuel johnson, 1752

so beyond.. deeper than.. reclaiming convo from tech..

text\ing et al

p 3

conversation advance self-reflection, the conversations with ourselves that are the cornerstone of early development and continue throughout life.

so perhaps we question school.. any supposed to’s..

this is a cornerstone (2 convos) and we are missing it.. but it happened way before tech of today… ie: 1792 no?

p 8

in the classroom, conversations carry more than the details of a subject; teachers are there to help students learn how to ask questions…

well – that’s the dream..

it (conversation in therapy) attends to pauses, hesitations, associations the things that are said through silence. it commits to a kind of conversation that doesn’t give ‘advice’ but helps people discover what they have hidden from themselves so they can find their inner compass.

perhaps we focus on this. just this. ie: self-talk as data.. as the day

p 9

lots of references to people preferring ie: texting because they can edit

in solitude we find ourselves; we prepare ourselves to come to conversation with something to say that is authentic, ours. when we are secure in ourselves we are able to listen to other people and really hear what they have to say and then in conversation with other people we become better at inner dialogue – the virtuous circle.. loop is broken… and why these are 2 needs/desires.. deep enough.. for 7 billion people to resonate with .. today.

p 10

solitude reinforces a secure sense of self, and with that, the capacity for empathy. then, conversation with others provides rich material for self-reflection. just as alone we prepare to talk together, together we learn how to engage in  more productive solitude

be alone

quiet in room

quiet enough

afraid of being alone, we struggle to pay attention to ourselves. and what suffers is our ability to pay attention to each other.

p 17

we have everything we need. we have each other. (the moment is right to reclaim conversation)

indeed.. but deeper than tech.. and clever ways.. humane ways.. to use. tech.. ie: watch as verba nother way..

for (blank)’s sake

p 21

but human relationships are rich,messy, and demanding. when we clean them up with technology, we move from conversation to the efficiencies of mere connection. i fear we forget the difference.

maybe we already had long ago.. perhaps we can use tech to ie: see with our heart.. to hear beyond the single story.. to hear beyond the words..

p 23

we slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us less lonely. but we are at risk because it is actually the reverse: if we are unable to be alone, we will be more lonely.

p 24

you get lost in your performance

spaces of permission .. with nothing to prove...

silence. echo-chamber ness. in naked streets..

p 27

anxious about the give-and-take of conversation, young people ar euncertain in their attachments. and, anxious in their attachments, young people are uncertain about conversation.

school has perpetuated this.. we have no idea what we would be like.. what we’re capable of … perhaps.. let’s just see.. let’s just focus on a and a

gabor mate quote

p 28

they say that talking on the telephone makes them anxious. it is worth asking a hard question: are we unintentionally depriving our children of tools they need at the very moment they need them?

yes.. pretty much beginning at age 5.. but deeper issue has little to do w/today’s tech. in fact.. has to do with phone, words, definition, agenda..

young recruits are forthright about wanting to avoid even the ‘real-time’ commitment of a telephone call.

telephone call..? feels more distant to me than a text.

p 33

real-time telephone call teaches that his proposed actions will affect others..


p 36

(on her convo w/students on whatsapp and on sending images rather than text) .. the more you manipulate them, he says, the more you can keep them ambiguous and ‘open to interpretation,’ he sees this as a good thing because you can’t be hurt if you haven’t declared yourself. but if you haven’t declared yourself, you haven’t tried out an idea.

maybe. maybe not. ie: the it is me ness, and desire for no labels/boxes ness. perhaps we’re seeing the limit of written word.. of spoken word even.. and the danger of single stories..

p 37

boredom and anxiety are signs to attend more closely to things, not to turn away.

p 38

this is unfortunate because studies show that open screens degrade the *performance of everyone who can see them – their owners and everyone sitting around them.

*performance – crazy. we’re calling out performance in classroom.. in senate meeting.. blaming it on mobiles.. saying kids et al are avoiding different things.. when it’s perhaps.. research/books/et al like this.. that are avoiding/not listening to.. why the ie: classroom/political meeting/war…. isn’t working for people

and we have to reconsider the value of the ‘boring bits’ fro which *we flee

*we flee – ie: face to face rather than ‘sherry’s real-time phones’… institutions/reputation (sinclair perpetuation law) we depend on for money.. we already use in various ways to flee life

p 39

relationships of mutuality depend on listening to what might be boring to you but is of interest to someone else.

perhaps to some degree… but we overdose with that by insisting on formats such as school.. group work… et al.. where listening has to be learned/coerced/incentivised.. because it isn’t about the thing we can’t not do..

tech today could be helping us find our people.. so that listening is allowed back in it’s natural state.. ie: via whimsy, wandering, wondering… curiosity.

not saying we don’t care about all people.. but rather.. let’s care about making supposed to’s …irrelevant..

in conversation a ‘lull’ may be on its way to becoming something else. if a moment in a conversation is slow, there is no way to know when things will pick up except to stay with the conversation . people take time to think and then they think of *something new

*something new – the something new in many lulls..or perhaps suffocations… is what we are pointing our raised eyebrow at.. no? (ie: zoom out – the something new in our societal lull – from compulsory school/work et al – is tech .. that could help us change up our day. rev in reverse.. revolution of everyday life..

if we remain curious about our boredom, we can use it as a moment to step back and make a new connection or it offers a moment, as von kleist would have it, to reach out and speak a thought that will only emerge in connection with a listener.

we have the potential to do so much better than this today. for one.. to quit trying this.. (teaching collab, coop) .. at the end of – or within – the prescribed day.. and.. two.. to quit assigning the groupings/topics..

but now.. through our devices our brains are offered a continuous and endlessly diverting menu that requires less work

or is it less agenda/compulsion

so we move away from the *slower pace where you have to wait, listen, and let your mind go over things

often.. totally opposite for me.. i can think more when alone.. yet with 24/7 connected to whoever/whenever. it’s here, i find, that whimsy/choice runs free.. up to me.. rather than shiny supposed to’s. (public space is so run by norms ness.. most people are other people..)

we move away from the pace of *human conversation. and so conversation **without agenda , where you discover things as you go along, become harder for us.

*human conversation – huge. but are/were we really having it.. before today’s tech.. ie: might words be limiting the natural/innate pace of human conversation.. (not the conversation people have today with such tech as ie: words..)

**without agenda – and/or.. we get to experience them.. for the first time. today most lives are lived w/in someone else’s agenda. ie: science of people ness

odd/obvious irony – on questioning texting in class (saying not learning no agenda convos) vs being in class (total agenda – and compulsory)
reclaiming convo is what kids are trying to do.. they’re seeking that attachment.. and that authenticity..
thinking of p gray’s comments on the agenda ness of research.. and how the people we research say what they think we want them to say.. esp if it’s a grade giving prof.. no?
took us years – in the lab – and still hard to get past that…
being quiet enough ness
gray research law ness

p 40

tech *does not make emotions easy.

so many extremes..

modeling/fractaling. what you/sherry are saying tech does to others.. ie: not able to listen deeply.. to all the stories.. ie: perhaps www matches our innate operating system more than convo via language/words does..

p 43

if you are addicted, you have to get off your drug. if you are vulnerable, you can work to be less vulnerable. (on whether or not we’re addicted to multitasking)

what if we *designed a smartphone interface that made it easy for us to do a specific task… then.. would encourage us to disengage.. reduce our usage.. make spending more time on our phone a deliberate action. the point is not to make connection impossible or difficult. but it should demand intention…. so instead of a phone that keeps us mesmerized, we may want to build a phone that lets us attend to **our business and then gradually releases u because that is what is best for us

*design an interface – watch as verb.. app chip ness…

**our business.. huge. again – who sets the agenda makes a huge diff in the day..

p 44

conversation implies something kinetic. it is derive from words that mean ‘to tend to each other, to lean toward each other’ words about the activity of relationship

communication ness.. the never being finished ness

p 45

on people saying they’d text rather than call a friend after ie: death in family: anything having to do with the voice feels like an interruption.

this is a poignant admission. this young man acknowledges that for all his many hours a day texting and messaging, he has *not learned how to listen and respond

p 46

solitude does not necessarily mean being alone it is a a state of conscious retreat, a gathering of the self. the capacity for solitude makes relationships with others more authentic.

because you know who you are, you can see others for who they are, not for who you need them to be..

what do i have to do in order for you to be free ness.. 0rland bishop

we don’t know who we are when we are alone, we turn to other people to support our sense of self. this makes it impossible to fully experience others as who they are.

p 47

innovation, which requires a capacity for solitude that continual connection diminishes..

p 48

a teach ‘live’ in front of a classroom gives students an opportunity to watch someone think, boring bits and all. that teacher is a *model for how thinking happens

again – we wish.. a dream.. but rare.. not because people are bad.. because we’re doing what we’re supposed to do.. what we or others have scripted.. thinking of Mary Catherine Bateson‘s vulnerability in context.. and no prepping/improv\e. most of us still prep/script.. – i have seen thinking aloud.. in Michael


p 54

and a fresh look at what we accomplish when we communicate perfection as a value to our children. studying conversation suggests that it is time to rediscover an interest in the spontaneous. it suggests that it si time to rediscover an interest in the points of view of those with whom we disagree. and it suggests that we slow down enough to listen to them, one at a time.

p 55

this means that america has curios new digital divides. in our use of media, there are the haves and have-nots. and then there are those who have so much that they now when to put it away (ref to steve jobs and no tech for kids)

apps for sociability may increase sociability on apps; what children are missing, however, is an ease with each other face to face, the context in which empathy is born.

and that was lost to a great degree –  before apps..

sometimes it seems easier to invent a new technology than to start a conversation..

perhaps it’s deeper than that. perhaps we need a new lifestyle.. where convo is the focus. and perhaps.. till we all get back to that natural state.. we need a placebo like app chip.. to facilitate the choas..

p 56

when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and less in control, our relationships, creativity, and productivity thrive.

as long as it’s all of us. and all the day..

the next step is to take the same moment and respond by searching within ourselves. to do this, we have to cultivate the self as a resource. beginning with the capacity for solitude.

p 60

solitude doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of activity. you know you are experiencing solitude when what you are doing brings you back to yourself.

developing the capacity for solitude is one of the most important tasks of childhood, every childhood.

then let’s take it seriously (and ie: go deep enough). because today.. w/tech.. we can.

p 61

solitude marks the beginning of conversation’s virtuous circle.

developmental psych has long made the case for the importance of solitude. and now so does neuroscience. it is only when we are alone with our thoughts – not reacting to external stimuli – that we engage that part of the brain’s basic infrastructure devoted to building up a sense of our stable autobiographical past.

when they go online.. their minds are not wandering but rather are captured and divided.

that sounds more like school/work… than the potential of www ness..

with this sensibility we risk building a false self ,based on performances we think others will enjoy. i share therefore i am..ness..


p 62

when we let our minds wander, we set our brains free. our brains are most productive when there is no demand that they be reactive.

ie: compulsory school … we need to be brave enough to model a means to leap frog to a world of wandering ness.. as the day.

solitude is where we learn to trust our imaginations..

when children grow up with time alone with their thoughts, they feel a certain ground under their feet. their imaginations bring them comfort. if children always have something outside of themselves to respond to, they do’t build up this resource.

when children have experience in conversation, they learn that practice never leads to perfect but that perfect isn’t the point. but perfect ca be the goal in a simulation.. computer game for ie

p 63

yet unlike time in nature or with a book, where his mind might wander, the experience of his online game drives him back to the task at hand.

the psychoanalyst erik erikson, a specialist in adolescent development, wrote that children thrive when they are given tim and stillness. the shiny objects of today’s childhood demand time and interrupt stillness.

so has organized sports/activities/school for the last kazillion years..

still ness

p 64

we need to notice what exactly is on those screens. then we can talk about what we want childhood to *accomplish

*accomplish – whoa. screens or not screens.. here’s the problem.. here’s why we have not yet.. we can’t seem to let go.

children develop the capacity for solitude in the presence of an attentive other.

attentive..? or usefully preoccupied.. (ha.. this is where i’ve added Sherry’s verbiage before – w/o it meaning to be hers..)

alone together ^2

all the while knowing her mother is present and available to her

but not watching over.. raising an eyebrow.. waiting for production/proof. et al.. rather modeling.. curiosity/whimsy/being usefully ignorant..

bath – time when child is comfortable with her imagination. attachment enables solitude.

Gabor – when authenticity threatens attachment.. attachment trumps authenticity

we practice being ‘alone with’ and if successful, end up with a self people by those who have mattered most. hannah arendt talks about the solitary person as free to keep himself company. he is not lonely, but always accompanied, ‘together with himself.’ for arendt, ‘all thinking, strictly speaking, is done in solitude and is a dialogue between me and myself; but this dialogue of the two-in-one does not lose contact with the world of my fellow-men because they are represented in the self with whom i lead the dialogue of thought.

Hannah Arendt – the need to give – self-talk as data – a try.. a good/fair go..

paul tllich has a beautiful formulation: language .. has created the world ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. and it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone. loneliness is painful, emotionally and even physically, born from a ‘want of intimacy’ when we need it most, in early childhood. solitude – the capcity to be contentedly and constructively alone – is built from successful human connection at just that time.

p 65

but if we don’t have experience with solitude – and this is *often the case today 0 we start to equate loneliness and solitude.

*often the case – yes.. but prior to today’s tech.. ie: compulsory activities/laws leave little time to be alone

we deny ourselves the benefits of solitude because we see the time it requires as a resource to exploit. instead of using time alone to think (or not think), we think of filling it *with digital connection

*with – she wrote.. with digital connection… but perhaps it’s way beyond this.. ie: school, work, war, productivity, supposed to’s..

great comment (highlighted part). huge. …energy\ness

on using digital ness – we are not *teaching them that boredom can be recognized as your imagination calling you..

*teaching – rather modeling.. for/with them

indeed, *research shows that **adolescents experience solitude as downtime that can feel bad in the short run

*research and ** adolescents – *man made myth and **man made construct.. by imposing.. ie: school, supposed to’s, accomplishment ness…

p 66

time alone is not, most say, something their parents taught them to value.

the are *not going to pick it up on their own

*not – or perhaps.. actually they would.. if we were living/modeling a nother way.

p 67

mozart – when i am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer  say traveling in a carriage or walking after a good meal or during the night when i cannot sleep – it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.

kafka – you need not leave your room. remain sitting at your table and listen. you need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet , and still, and solitary. the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked.


thomas mann – solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry

picasso – without great solitude, no serious work is possible.

one *thing characterized the programmers in the high performing org’s they had more privacy. .. personal space, control over their physical environments, and freedom from interruption.

*thing – compare that to a typical 7 hrs a day at school/work.. hence.. unwanted stresssuffocating from the day, death, et al

when we let our focus shift away from the people and things around us, we are better able to think critically about our own thoughts, a process psychologists call meta-cognition. *everyone has this potential. the important thing is to nurture it. the danger is that in a life of **constant connection, we lose the capacity to do so.

*everyone – this is huge. vital to believe this. ever one. equity. when we label people w/in our agenda (child, adolescence, careerist, et al).. we block/cancerize this potential/energy ness.

let’s do this firstfree art-ists… for (blank)’s sake

** constant – this is more compulsory, subtle, supposed to ish, in our institutions that take up most of our time in the day… most of our lives, ie: getting an education, earning a living.. what it we called that out? by your/sherry own accounts here.. if authenticity is alive.. individual can make healthy choices. at the end of a (and during) a supposed to day.. most of us find something to hide in.. to escape to.. somethings that perhaps .. living a nother way would work toward good..

p 68

no that connection is alway son offer, people *don’t know what to do with time alone, even time they asked for. they can’t concentrate; they say they are bored, and boredom becomes a reason to turn to their phones for a game or a text or a fb update. but mostly, it is anxiety that leads them back to their phones…… vicious cycle. knowing we have someplace **else to go in a moment of ***boredom leaves us less experienced.

*don’t – the don’t mess is from way earlier than internet connections.. internet connections no just offer an alt to all this… ie:suffocating from the day ness.. that we’ve perpetuated for years and years. we have to go deeper.. listen quieter.. than blaming one thing or another.. ie: tech. so much to learn from ie: what people are doing with it (boyd et al)

** else – yes.. huge.. i prefer gershenfeld something else ness.. baked into a nother way as the day..

*** boredom – like stress.. there is wanted (solitude) boredom and unwanted (compulsory) boredom. this distinction is huge.. esp to a researcher.. that ends up telling/advising others what to do with their day.. thinking gray research law ness again..

p 70

(paraphrase) on teachers worried about students at holbrooke who don’t want to read off their reading lists.. even the over achievers.. and on employer saying the people they hire today needs their hands held.. always wanting to know if they’re doing it right.

dang. this isn’t because of the phone.. well it kind of is. but not in the way it’s being describe. ie: some of us are starting to get pluralistic ignorance. we’re starting to see that how things always have been aren’t how they should/need to be. and so the demands.. like reading off someone else’s reading list et al.. we don’t go into as blindly. but to the plus/invisible side… we want to do a good job with your project.. so we have to keep asking – since it’s not dear to us – if we’re doing it right. (this is kind of through the voices i heard over the years)

most students .. even short periods of time alone make their students uncomfortable. if there is an open space in the day, students expect an adult to come in with an activity…

1\ that’s what they’re used to 2\ they’re not in a space of permission.. w/nothing to prove. they get the game.

more.. ie: art projects.. where kids lose interest if teacher not over their shoulder.. again – project probably wasn’t their choice.. or time of day wasn’t their choice.. or they were sure they’d get graded or praised or not… and.. now they have an alternative.. where prior to.. the alternative was sleep/notes/get in trouble..

p 76

k-12 teachers and college profs use the same words to describe their students: rushed, impatient, not interested in process, unable to be alone with their thoughts..

their thoughts..?

mind wandering needs to be led by the person.. no? can’t be manufactured by others…

psychologist jonathan schooler demo’d that ‘mind wnadering’ is a steping-sotne to creativity. ‘the mind is inherently restless.. it’s alway slooking to attent to the most interestin gthing in its environment.

if children grow up expecting that the most interesting thing in their environemnt is going to be on their phones, we have to teach the to give their inner worlds a chance.

in school..?

indeed, in a quiet moment, all of us, child and adult, have to fight the impulse to turn first to our devices..

perhaps the distinction between quiet moment and space of permission is what’s blurring here…

perhaps we are not moving toward our phones but away from something else. are we hiding from anxiety? are we hiding from a good idea that will demand difficult work? are we hiding from a question that will take time to sort through?

perhaps we are trying to breathe..  hard to research/assess any of this.. when we’re not letting people be free first. ie: science of people ness

p 85

we’ve seen this before, solitude defined as time with a managed crowd… and now.. he  knows that when he thinks aloud online other people are in a position to listen… on censor ing self reflection (as journaling on fb)

p 89

the quantified self goes directly to people and asks each of us to treat ourselves as though we were computational objects….the psychoanalytic self looks to history as it leaves traces i language; the algorithmic self to what it can track as data points in a time series….. we see the frustration of having a number w/o a narrative

on rating what we write.. et al.. perhaps work on self talk as data.. w/o judging it.. use it to help us find our people.. and to leave a trail.. mainly for us.. and augmented memory..but also for others.. who seek to know us better.. for whatever reasons

trish wants a conversation (not just ratings..)

p 92

we talk about the ‘output’ from our tracking programs as ‘results’ but they are not results. they are first steps.

or mere observations..

all this tracking.. for fixing things.. what if we just used it to connect people..

p 95

more of obsessing/becoming print out results…

p 96

an algorithm asks for specifications. in talk therapy, one is encouraged to wander.

i want only to say enough to say this: the sensibility of psycho dynamic therapy – its focus on meaning, its commitment to patience and developing a working therapeutic relationship, its belief that following an associative thread of ideas, even if they seem unrelated, will ultimately have a big payoff – has a lot to offer digital culture. in particular, the psychoanalytic tradition (talk therapy toward self-reflection) suggests ways to approach technologies that try to capture us through algorithms.

but new everyday.. and ongoing…  not just a capture… a trail.. used to match people: app chip ness…

p 97

central to the method in talk therapy is learning what you think by listening to yourself in conversation.

p 98

i have a fantasy .. people will develop a dual sensibility: the psychoanalytic and computer culture will find their necessary points of synergy..

yes – a mechanism simple enough.. using self-talk as data..

p 107

she wants time when she can feel like ‘herself’ and now worry about the impression she is making (on her mom posting dinner pics all the time)

much of the work is don (in convo) as children learn they are in a place they can come back to, tomorrow and tomorrow. when digital media encourage us to edit ourselves until we have said the ‘right thing’ we can lose sight of the important thing: relationships deepen not because we necessarily say anything in particular but because we are invested enough to show up for another conversation.

getting a go.. every day.. anew.. and always.

p 109

social media is set up to teach different lessons. instead of promoting the value of authenticity, it encourages performance. instead of vulnerability.. put on your best face.. instead of listen.. what goes into effective broadcast.. not better at reading people but at getting them to like you

p 116

young people have grown up in a world of search, and info is the end point of search. they have been taught that info is the key to making things better – …. family convo teaches another message. talking to your parents doesn’t just offer up info. you experience the commitment of a lifelong relationship…. i’m staying around for another convo; we’ll keep talking this out..

p 160

this is our paradox. when we are apart: hypervigilance. when we are together: inattention.

p 164

the teachers want to make school a time when students can take a step away from the pressure to be sending and receiving (texts). but more and more course content is delivered electronically, so students are never away from the medium that distracts them.

whoa. – two sentences back to back. seems so ironic. school is pressure of sending and receiving… course content.. no?

p 169

he things their conversations change when she is recording.

i want people to live in the moment for friendship. don’t come with your history or expectations. you should be able to start your relationship  from where you are not – haley. andi has opposite feeling. she believes that having a record of her past will allow her to live more full in the present – google glass and empathy machine..

i’m not optimistic about the empathy machine as a shortcut, or what one enthusiast describes to me as ‘training wheels for empathy.’ perhaps for some it makes sense as a supplement. but of course, with technology, we have a tendency to take what begins as a supplement and turn it into a way of life.

so perhaps we design for the supplement to become irrelevant.. or at least always pointing us back to people..

The work of psychiatrist Daniel Siegel has taught us that children need eye contact to develop parts of the brain that are involved with attachment. Without eye contact, there is a persistent sense of disconnection and problems with empathy. Siegel sums up what a moment of eye contact accomplishes: “Repeated tens of thousands of times in the child’s life, these small moments of mutual rapport [serve to] transmit the best part of our humanity—our capacity for love—from one generation to the next.

atsushi senju, a cognitive neuroscientist, studies this mechanism through adulthood, showing that the parts of the brain that allow us to process another person’s feelings and intentions are activated by eye contact. emoticons on texts and emails, senju found, don’t have the same effect. he says, ‘a richer mode of communication is possible right after making eye contact. it amplifies your ability to compute all the signals so you are able to read the other person’s brain.

huge to two needs.. also to how we use tech.. clive thompson’s.. make tech to point to others.. watch as verb ness..

as i’m reading.. anne shared this on fb (anxiety and empathy):

p 171

if we don’t want to be captures by our phones, we can, for ie, design phones that intentionally ‘release’ us after each transaction.

indeed. and design the day.. so that we are invited to exist.. ie: a nother way rather than supposed to’s.

and we can construct social environments that support our intentions.

exactly.. let’s try that.. use tech to facilitate curiosity for 7 billion people.. as the day.

we’ll go further in reclaiming conversation if we create environments that support conversation..

2 convos..

since socrates lamented the movement from speech to writing, observers have warned against each new mode of communication as destructive to a cherished mode of thought.


when we write rather than speak we are aware that we are making a choice, writing instead of speaking..

well. kind of. what about scripted lectures et al.. and to many … writing feels like speaking.. ie: texting.. i see a blur as well here

in contrast, when we have our phones with us, we don’t consider that by this fact we have compromised our face to face convos…. our tech have not only changed what we do; they have changed who we are. and nowhere as profoundly as in our capacity for empathy.

perhaps.. but when used to have more intimate convos.. or convos that wouldn’t take place otherwise.. i don’t know..

p 172

empathy means staying long enough for someone to believe that you want to know how they feel, not that you want tot tell them what you would do in their circumstance. empathy requires time and emotional discipline.

The essayist William Deresiewicz said that as our communities have atrophied, we have moved from living in actual communities to making efforts to feel as though we are living in them. So, when we talk about communities now, we have moved “from a relationship to a feeling.” We have moved from being in a community to having a sense of community

p 173

if you’re talking you can mess up.. and it turns into something really funny. that’s how people bond.. it’s not like everything is made to be perfect. – ginger

yes. this. .. i’ll keep coming back to the convo. ground hog day ness

p 174

csikszentmihalyi writes about the possibility of more (than reinforcement/validation friends). there are friends who question each other’s dreams and desires, who encourage each other to try out the new. ‘ a true friend is someone we can occasionally be crazy with, someone who does not expect us to be always true to form. it is someone who shares our goal of self-realization, and therefore is willing to share the risks that any increase in complexity entails.

tellingly, csikszentmihalyi describes a ‘true friend’ by describing friendship in action – among other things, in conversation. he is describing intimacy.


p 198

Chris Rock also said that on first dates, we don’t send ourselves but we send our “representatives”; we send our best selves. Over time, our representatives can’t do the job and “we” start to show up. And that is where a relationship either works or doesn’t. In digital connections, the danger is that we can keep sending in our representatives. So, it’s harder to know what is working, if it is working.

cc @tytashiro

p 200

and then he explains how, for him, getting things right (w his girl) depended on editing.

p 201

online he sued humor to signal confidence in their enduring connection. so what the text communicated is not the ‘real’ adam; it’s the adam he wants to be

online we do not become different selves. our online identities are facets of ourselves that usually are harder for us to express in the physical realm. this is why the online world can be a place for personal growth.

p 206

how do you know someone is a true way

p 211

these students don’t feel they can be present unless they are also, in a way, absent.

p 213

2012 – 9 in 10 uni students say they text in class. oliver – every generation had its own way of responding to being bored, especially during classes. other generations passed notes, doodled, or zoned out. ….

perhaps we go deeper then.. to why generations have had to come up with how to deal with boredom in class… or not paying attention .. or whatever.. no?

p 218

attentional pluralism is hard to achieve. hyper attention feels good. and without practice, we can lose the ability to summon deep attention.

so.. practice comes from curiosity/whimsy/wandering.. and too.. if you’re free to go there.. no summoning needed..

perhaps… we quit trying to fix something.. that’s actually the problem. ie: compulsory learning..

p 221

hayles – pedagogical accommodation; schmidt – tech will fix; wolf – plasticity of brain

or.. perhaps.. we need to change the environment. as the day.

urs gasser and john palfrey – born digital.. a new style of learner.. picks up things here and there, taking bits and pieces.. .. tinker and associate. graze. when they need to go deep, the pause and dive. palfrey and gasser argue that there is no reason to think that an older generation, trained to gather info by focusing on several trusted sources read in depth, had a better learning style. it was just different.

but in practice, grazing makes it hard to develop a narrative to frame events, for example, to think about history or current events…. 11th grade teacher – my students are struggling. no dates, no geography, o sense of how to weigh the importance of things.

the problem isn’t web surfing. it’s turning to bits and pieces at times when a more sustained narrative, the kind you are morel likely to meet in a book or long article, would be a better choice. … they continue to skip what this teacher calls basic content..

whoa. i don’t know that Gasser‘s style is new. it’s enhanced by new tools for sure. (which is why today we have the means to set everyone free. as the day. if we were only brave enough to call out irrelevant s.) … we certainly will never have some miracle that gets to deep attention.. on some extrinsic/assumed-basic topic..

p 222

on maureen not having anything memorized..

perhaps it’s because we have given her time and space to memorize what she would choose to memorize.. we haven’t set her free enough.. to find the thing she can’t not do.. can’t not copy onto her heart..

p 223

you need to have strong background of facts and concepts on board before you know you need them.

whoa. whoa. whoa. that’s how we got to where we are. no? oy.

perhaps the convos/insight/wisdom that we need.. beg to come from the burning desires within. if we want us to be our best.. if we want them to stick.

thinking of jack – relatives die of cancer.. he gets a burning to seek out a cure. the way we have classrooms/education/patenting/paywalls set up now.. isn’t helpful whether you have that burning for a particular topic or not. ie: if you don’t have a burning (for said topic/class/course).. it’s not going to stick.. it’ll just be part of a game.. a getting in ness; if you do have a burning (for said topic/class/course).. it’s going to be too frustrating dealing with all the interruptions/watering downs/et al for people not really wanting to be there.. you’ll want to be in a space where everyone is as invested…

p 226

we begin to think that the way we think when we have our devices in hand is the ‘natural’ way to think.

perhaps it’s closer to natural than what we’ve been doing .. in schools.. no?

p 228

seymour quote: you ca’t think about thinking without thinking about thinking about something..

then taking that into how we could use moocs for good. (229) – so moocs are an object to think with fro thinking about what is possible with new educational technologies.

p 239

during panel discussion about the ethics of pedagogy, .. lee edelman said that his biggest challenge as a prof is not teaching his student to think *intelligently, but getting them to actually respond to each other thoughtfully in the **classroom

*intelligently – by who’s defn..? thinking grey research ness and agenda ness

** classroom – perhaps it’s that we keep insisting on such parameters for deep thought.. ie: in (pkg deal) spaces/topics/communities

human resources officers tell me that their new hires have a hard time talking in business *meetings

*meetings – is that a people problem..? or an (assumed/supposed to) environ problem

p 240

why would we want to put at the center of our educational agenda a kind of learning in which we don’t teach the skill or raising hands and entering a conversation? if doing this makes our students nervous, our job as educators should be to help them get *over it.

and/or set them free – from unnatural/forced human interactions (ie: gatherings not per choice)

the value of attending a *live lecture in college is a bit like the value of doing fieldwork

*live – whoa. who’s deciding live ness. again.. gray research law. there’s got to be a better way. perhaps.. live (un packaged) fieldwork.. as the day. not saying convos within a community of mentors aren’t huge.. just saying the ones we’re claiming today .. 1\ not everyone is there per choice.. and so 2\ the set up has got fillers/absences if the people there were.. there per choice.

if you are *lucky, you learn that life repays close, focused attention

*lucky – or perhaps… if you are free. just free. perhaps we trust freedom.. free humans.. rather than luck

p 241

imagine how diff the convo would be if sandel presented the case.. and ased his class to hold clickers adn register anonymous preferences. you would learn what the class thought, which is certainly *interesting. but members of the class would not learn how to summon the **bravery to voice and defend their opinions

*interesting – actually can be quite insightful toward revealing pluralistic ignorance – i’ve seen it..

** bravery – just like the cycle of self/other convo.. solitude (authenticity) begets community (attachment).. the cycle of us.. including our bravery ness. to me (w/in a potentially unhealthy space.. ie: compulsory/pkg deal classroom) .. things like clickers helped people find the bravery/permission to get back to their shell/chamber.. so that all of us could get back to us.. rather than spouting supposed to’s. perhaps as a placebo back to ability to self-reflect.

p 242

you get over it and get used to *hearing yourself say things aloud

*hearing – hearing self – good for sure. but perhaps today.. we have a better way… a nother way.. a more humane way.. for hearing each (authentic, curious) voice..

sandel – finding student comments terse (like 140 character limit) and disappointing. it was not just, she said, that remarks were short. it was also that for her, anonymity flattened out the *discussion.

*discussion – again.. people problem..  or discussion/topic problem?

p 243

a question that *doesn’t come from a person (but rather lecture slides/mooc/flipped ness) – it’s only half a question

*doesn’t – as too, a question that doesn’t come from your gut/burning..

i think people text but *less so than in other courses because.. (on sandel’s class being one of only one’s where very few text during class)

*less – not good enough. we can do better. so let’s.

(on being clear about tech we use) .. if not, we may be tolerant of classroom technologies that *distract teachers and students from focusing on each other

*distract – agreed. this side is certainly happening. because shiny sells, and we’ve bought it for kids/ourselves to use in our classrooms. because we care.

perhaps we need to find the bravery to change our minds about ie: classrooms .. perhaps via ie: revolution in reverse..

p 244

but when i gave out the assignment i was interested in *more than the final product

*more – then.. let’s go for more than the final project. let’s set us all free. . from our assumed supposed to agendas/projects/pdg deals.. no?

the had a task; they accomplished it with *efficiency

exactly. efficiency. when it’s not the thing you can’t not do.. efficient toward getting the supposed to done so you can get to that space/time of permission where you’ll have nothing to prove.. efficiency as cheating vs survival ness..

my fantasy (sitting at long tables discussing all night), from his (students) pov, asks for the *unnecessary. but his reality **allows little space to talk about a new idea

*unnecessary – when it’s not your choice. when it’s your choice.. it’s the essence.. cs lewis et al

**allows – perhaps because we’re determining/agendaing what others realities are. by package dealing their/our day

p 245

my experience is that you really don’t know when you are going to have an important conversation. you have to show up for many conversations that feel inefficient or boring to be there for the conversation that changes your mind.

perhaps. i see that in your ref to children learning from bits of dinner table convo.. more than the info.. it’s the coming back tomorrow ness. but we can do better today.. with the many conversations prior to .. the one that changes your mind. we can do ginormously small better.. by changing the day.. and by being brave enough to change our mind.. 24/7

kahneman… we spent hours each day, just talking…. here we see convo as not only an intellectual engine but the means by which colleagues were able to cross boundaries that are usually only dissolved by love. conversation led to intellectual communion.

conversation is a kind of intimacy. you don’t just get more information. you get different information.

convo not their to go faster but to go deeper

and for kahnemanlewis,.. those convos are so diff than manufacturing ones in a classroom for people who are there to get a grade/degree/pdg deal…

p 249

But Lister doesn’t think that these scheduled meetings are doing the work of her impromptu chats with Berger. Once you have an agenda, she thinks, you are not as likely to play with ideas. For that, she says, “You need a conversation that is truly open-ended

p 252

student working w pentland on sociometric badge – finding f to f (not online) convos increase productivity

sandy pentland

p  254

meetings are performances of what meetings used to be.

did they ever used to be…? same w/classrooms.. not.. meeting of school. did it ever work? huge on conversation ness of this book.. not so huge on assuming where they should happen..

p 259

she marvels (at youth she’s hired): ‘they’ve designed their own apps, but they are socially inept.‘ they have a hard time showing empathy in the workplace. …. the first training needs to be training in convo. but it usually isn’t given… we tend to assume that employees know how to listen and respond..

perhaps it’s the workplace..? not the people being socially inept… perhaps..

p 260

on rattan – at 40 – unhappy until she decided to turn off wifi at work. .. a business best practice

could be she’s not doing the thing she can’t not do…

p 262

on hareet’s theater and even when they’re – breathing the same air – she has to work to keep them present to each other.

again – could be they’re not doing the thing they can’t not do.. we keep wasting energy on not noticing/trusting this..

p 305

In the world as Foucault analyzed it, when you put cameras on street corners, you want people to notice them and build a self that takes surveillance as a given. Knowing that the cameras are there makes you “be good” all by yourself. But in our new data regime, the goal is for everyone to be unaware, or at least to forget in the moment, that surveillance exists. The regime works best if people feel free to “be themselves.” That way they can provide “natural data” to the system

so toward eudaimonia. however.. the collection for data mostly used for profit.. and.. if we we’re tied up for most of the day with supposed to’s so no matter how much we don’t think we’re being watched.. we’re not really us. ie: day already planned out.

p 306

web promises to make our world bigger. but as it is now.. it also narrows our exposure to ideas. .. in a bubble.. ideas we already know/like.

The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities.

p 313

on fully tracking ie: linux users, on tor recommended for privacy.. but also puts on on nsa fully tracking list

p 314

(after more on surveillance and on fb getting people to vote.. and experimenting w/emotions) – what is at stake is a sense of a self in control of itself. and a citizenry that can think for itself.

we’re already beyond that.. no? ie: most people think it’s illegal to think for themselves. so again. deeper problem than online ness.. surveillance ness..

let’s do this firstfree art-istsfor (blank)’s sake

p 317

so to the idea that we mights learn about ourselves through algorithms, the most ready answer is to embrace conversations that bring us back to ourselves, our friends, and our communities..

we find out voice in solitude, and we bring it to public and private convos that enrich our capacity for self-reflection.

now that circle has been *disrupted; there is a crisis in our capacity to be alone and together. but we are in flight from those face-to-face convos that enrich our imaginations and shepherd the imagined into the real. there is a crisis in our ability to understand others and be heard.

*disrupted – happened long ago.. like.. how can we even name when it started. (so many techs facilitated this, ie: school, work, …) the current tech is helping us see that disruption/brokenness.. by what we do when we have an alternative to ie: suffocating from the day.

p 318

clifford nass compared the parts of the brain that process emotion to muscles – they atrophy if not exercised but can be strengthened through face-t0-face convos.

..when a teacher wants to reach a distracted class, when a business meeting is trying to rectify a serious misunderstanding..

manufactured consent..

some of the most crucial convos you will ever have will be with yourself. to have them, you have to learn to listen to your voice. a fist step is to slow down sufficiently to make this possible.

p 319

find your own agenda and keep your own pace.

art ist ness. as the day.

i think of vannevar bush and his dream in 1945 that a mechanical memex would free us for the kind of slow creative thinking that only people know how to do.

prototyping to slow… ess

we help children slow down by keeping them in touch with materials such as mud and modeling clay. the resistance of the physical fires their imaginations and keeps them grounded.


p 320

we need time to talk to each other. i don’t text in the car while i’m driving. so that makes it a perfect time for us to talk…

? car..? – part of the problem.

we teach the capacity for solitude by being quiet alongside children who have out attention.

when we wired the unis every las room of them, we didn’t consider that we were making it *harder for students to attend to their peers or their own thoughts.

*harder – like gershenfeld talks of guarding against war.. can’t create space free enough (and ie: school certainly isn’t designed for people to attend to peers and their own thoughts) rather… create opportunity for everyone.. to do something else.

p. 321

think of unitasking as the next big thing..


doing one thing at a time is hard, because it means asserting ourselves over what technology makes easy and over what feels *productive in the short term.

*productive – b – see results. m – reaffirm need/desire

multitasking comes with its own high. our brains crave the fast and unpredictable, the quick hit of the new we know this is a human vulnerability. unless we design our lives and technology to work *around it, we resign ourselves to diminished **performance.

*around it – rather.. dance with it. perhpas we let our brains.. be our brains. perhaps there’s no need to chain/control/box them

**performance – ?

unitasking is key to productivity and creativity. conversation is a human way to practice unitasking


a technology that makes it possible to interact with everyone does not necessarily have everyone interacting peopel use the internet to limit their interaction to those with whom they agree. and social media users are less willing than non-users to discuss their views off-line

? – gray research law and science of people

this means that they (uni students) will avoid *political discussion with those who live down the hall, who share a bathroom. we turn the physical realm into an echo chamber.

*political – perhaps it’s the discussion.. (ie: political convos we are having today aren’t us).. rather than the people. our measures.. always seem to be how we react in a manufactured/unhealthy situation. wasting energy on political discussion (as they are today) is the ridiculous/harmful thing

p 322

it’s a cozy life, *but we risk ot learning anything new.

*but – whoa.. this describes school, work, supposed to’s.. as we know them today.. and have been perfecting/perpetuating… for years.

we can do better.

indeed… way/deep better. we can’t not.

we can teach our children to talk to people who disagree with them by modeling *these conversations ourselves

*these – convos of disagreements.. about irrelevant s..? whoa. how about a do-over. modeling the day.. in both convos

when you return from *reverie (daydream et al), you may be bringing back something deeply pertinent

*reverie – last 3 plus years

conversation, like life, has *silences and boring bits

*silences – there’s never nothing going on.. no silencecage/millman

this bears repeating: it is often in the moments when we stumble and hesitate and fall silent that we reveal ourselves to each other. digital communication can lead us to an *edited life. we should not forget that an **unedited life is also worth living.

*edited – via digital.. true. there’s that potential/wording for it. but (for me) a more reflective space. in person is often too fast/pressured-to-please .. with digital i have those spaces for echo-chamber ness self reflection.. perhaps part of why i often so in need of detox after f to f convos. [interesting backtrack note.. from p 323 – this sounds like heartech manager guy.. but it’s me.. describing me from 50 yrs ago.. so it can’t be the same app ness]

**unedited – absolutely.. i believe even more so. why it’s so important we shed irrelevants/supposed to’s that are blocking us from being us..because we are naturally anti fragile

p 323

in school, when the app generation has to deal with unpredictability, they become impatient, anxious, and disoriented. at work, the problems continue….. on not being good at thinking on toes.. i’m not used to thinking fast with people in front of me.. the back and forth of conversation..

true.. but school – that institution.. and that trajectory… of getting in places.. has taught us this as well.. even more so perhaps..

also see backtrack note on *edited from p 322

p 324

in the most concrete terms (difficult convos she’s saying managers today can’t handle), there are performance reviews, negative feedback, firing people….difficult convos require empathic skills and certainly ‘thinking on your toes’. teaching engineers how to have these convos requires significant teaching…. yet .. style of thinking that prefers predictable extends beyond engineers.. we are all having trouble w/difficult convos… in a sense..we are all engineers now

? difficult? or irrelevant.. to a human being..

our challenge is to deliver those difficult convos, the ones that include others and the ones w/ourselves.

indeed. 2 convos.. but let’s not set the agenda/topic (ie: firing people, performance reviews..)

p 325

as i write this, a new robot has been launched on the market as a companion for your child. it will teach a child to look for understanding from an object that has none to give.

like say.. ie: a tv..?

we’ve seen that we learn the capacity for solitude by being ‘alone with’ another..

p 326

shared solitude grounds us

for thoreau walking was a kind of shared solitude…… what business have i in the woods, if i’m thinking of something out of the woods..

practice may not make perfect. but this is a realm where perfect is not required. and practice always affirms our values, our true north.

don’t avoid difficult convos. we’ve seen that beyond our personal and work lives, we are having trouble talking to one another in the public square. in particular we are having trouble with new questions about privacy and self-ownership


p 331

parental inattention can mean that, to a child, everything feels urgent.

a child alone with a problem has an emergency. a child in conversation with a grown up is facing a moment in life and learning how to cope with it

p 340

on talking to machines.. like siri: they like the feeling of no judgment

good.. to self-talk as data into chip

..they can deliver only performances of empathy and connection… ..

it won’t understand what any of these things mean to you. but the meaning of thins is just what we want our machines to understand.

p 346

people are lonely and fear intimacy, and robots seem ready to hand. and we are ready for their company if we forget what intimacy is. and having nothing to forget, our children learn new rules for when it is appropriate to talk to a machine.

stephanie wonders perhaps if this is a good thing (daughter yelling at siri), certainly a more honest conversations than tara is having with others in her life

p 348

why don’t we think we deserve more. don’t we think we can have more? (than machine as companion)

cover story in wired – better than human – premise: whenever robots take over human function, the next thing people get to do is a more human thing. authored by kevin kelly,… 1\ robots make us more human by increasing our relational options because now we get to relate to them, considered as a new species 2\whatever people do if robot can take over that role, it was, by defn, not specifically human. and over time, this has come to include the roles of convo, companionship, and caretaking. we redefine what is human by what tech can’t do. but as alan turing put it, computer convo is an imitation game. we declare computers intelligent if they can fool us into thinking they are people. but that doesn’t mean they are.


p. 349

students’ invented dolls.. teach child socialization skills.. practice job interviews

1/ socialization..? what does that mean today.. w/science of people et al.. most people other people… 2\ job interviews..? so too.. not us..

we are talking about our fears of each other, our disappointments with each other, out lack of community. out lack of time.

p 350

it’s (robot as friend) programmed to stay with you forever

society programs that as well.. no? from the not-allowed-to-change perspective.. rather than unconditional love – the it is me – perspective

p 351

mid 80s early 90s – peopal of all ages found way of saying that although simulated thinking might be thinking, simulated feeling is never feeling, simulated love is never love. then in late 90s.. sea of change… ie: virtual pets.. …. and it as clear that it did matter to the children who cared for them. we are built to nurture what we love but also to love what we nurture.

nurturance turns out to be a ‘killer app.’ once we take care of a digital creature or teach or amuse it, we become attached to it, and the behave ‘as if’ the creature cares for us in return

p 352

i’ve interviewed many adults who say of children’s attachment to as-f relationships: ‘well, that’s cute, they’ll grow out of it.’ but it is just as likely, more likely in fact, that children are not growing out of patterns of attachment to the *inanimate but growing into them

*inanimate – like the inanimate school as attachment from age 5 – Gabor

people, he says, are risky. robots are safe. the kind of reliability they will provide is emotional reliability, which comes from their having no emotions at all.

minsky’s student,.. these days.. we’re not trying to create machines that souls would want to live in but machines that we would want to live with.

from earliest childhood, thomas, now 17 says that he used video games as a place of emotional comfort, ‘a place to go.’

p 353

his relationship w/his mother is quite formal. she holds down several jobs and thomas says he doesn’t want to upset her with his problems.

thomas says that at school he feels ‘surrounded by traitors.’ it’s a terrible feeling and one where talking to a person might help. but thomas doesn’t see that happening any time soon.

designed to act as human characters in the game. these characters can be important: they can save your life, and sometimes, to proceed through the game,  you have to save theirs but every once in a while, those who designed thomas’s game turn its world upside down: the programmers of the game take the roles of the programmed characters they’ve created. ‘so, on dan one, you meet some characters and they’re just programs. on day two, they are people… so, from day to ay, you can’t keep the robots straight from the people.

p 354

turn’s test is all about behavior, the ability to perform humanness.

sounds like work/school/institutions et al

of thomas accepts programs as confidants it is *because he has so degraded what he demands of convo that he will accept what a game bot can offer: the performance of honesty and companionate interest

*because – Gabor ness

p 355

programs, these students explained, would have larger databases to draw on than any parent could have

if your father’s advice about dating doesn’t work out, hopefully you’ll still learn things fro talking to him that will help things go better when you have your next crush.

saying that you’ll let a machine ‘take care’ of a convo about dating means that this larger convo won’t take place. it can’t.

a disengaged parent leave children less able to relate to others.

disengaged/oppressed/imprisoned in supposed to’s..

robots appeal to distract parents because they are *already disengaged.

*already – exactly.. here’s a space where it’s not the tech of today.. ie: texting/robots… it’s the build up (siddhartha cancer ness) .. perpetuation… of manmade tech/consent over the years.. to where it is the people.. being not people …. being not us. we need to fix/free/wake us.

the *most important job of childhood and adolescence is to learn attachment to and trust in other people. that happens through human attention, presence, and convo. when we think about putting children in the care of robots, we forget that what children really need to learn is that adults are there for them in a **stable and consistent way.

*most – two jobs for all of life’s ages.. deep enough for all 7 billion ish. caring/babysitting of today.. already in place.. are the institutions we end ourselves for the bulk of the day to. because we’re too busy with (running these institutions.. getting money from these institutions.. believing institutions can do job better than us).. to have time to question this pluralistic ignorance.. that’s got us all sleep walking.

**stable/consistent – we so need live people modeling whimsy/antifragility/unconditional love..

children need to learn what complex human feelings and human ambivalence look like. and they need other people to respond to their own expressions of that complexity. these are the things we forget when we think about children spending any significant amount of time talking with machines, looking into robotic faces, trusting int their care…

why would we play with fire when it comes to such delicate matters.?

huge. ginormous. spot on. but we have to look deeper than what’s happening now.. to ie: why it’s happening now. it’s not just supposed caring robots. we have to ask .. why are they so appealing. perhaps because we’ve done (earlier.. more subtle) iterations of them for several 100 years. until we think ie: school/work are givens. most of us spend 12+ years in these prep institutions.. prepping for another 30-40 years of these debt-release institutions. there’s got to be a better way. there is a better way. a nother way. but it involves systemic change. we have to call out irrelevants. esp because we now can. why would we play with fire when it comes to such delicate matters..?

p 356

i’ve said that part of what makes our new technologies of connection *so seductive is that they respond to our fantasies, our wishes, that we will always be heard, that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be, and that we will never have to be alone. and, of course, they respond to an implied fourth fantasy: that we will never have to be bored.

*so seductive – i’d say what makes them so seductive is that man made techs prior to now keep detaching us from these innate fantasies.. they keep perpetuating not us ness.

perhaps these are – all four – not fantasies.. perhaps they are what we are capable of.. in a society that focuses on 2 needs/desires that are deep enough.

if.. we choose to share our frustrations with robot friends because we don’t want to upset our human friends with who we really are and what we’re really feeling.

total Gabor.. when authenticity threatens attachment.. attachment trumps authenticity… this is nothing new.. we’ve been pushing for dis attachment for years.. teaching ourselves not to impose on those closest to us .. for years..

the meaning of human friendships will change. it may become the place you go for small talk. you’d be afraid that people would be tired out by big talk. this means that there won’t be any more big talk because robots won’t understand it.

we’ve already go that happening.. a big part .. because we don’t have time for anything but small talk.. after we’ve completed a day’s worth of .. supposed to’s..

p 357

i believe this wish reflects a painful truth i’ve learned in my years of research: the feeling that ‘no on is listening to me’ plays a large part in our relationships with technology.

no doubt. the need to be invited to exist. our manufactured/efficient society has wiped that from us.. we need to wake up.. rather than take the next pill (ie pills: school, work, texting, robots….)

p 358

on exp that changed me – when this woman took comfort in her robot companion, i didn’t findn it amazing. i felt we had abandoned this woman. being part of this scene was one of the most wrenching moments in my then 15 years of research on sociable robotics.

for me, it was  turning point: i felt the enthusiasm of my team and of the staff and the attendants. there were so many people there to help, but we all stood back, a room of spectators now, only there to hope that an elder would bond with a machine. it seemed that we all had a stake in outsourcing the thing we do best – understanding each other, taking care of each other.

that day in the nursing home, i was trouble by how we allowed ourselves to be sidelined, turned into spectators by a robot that understood nothing.

much how i felt.. once i saw too much of how we all spend our days..

it’s not just that older people are supposed to be talking. younger people are supposed to be listening. this is the compact between generations… when a young person misbehaves, it means that ‘they had no one to tell them the old stories.’

and… your own song ness…

we need a nother way to live.. that facilitates our one ness.. our a and a.. the dance that is naturally/innately us

– – –

from notes at end of book:

p 369

number of people i interviewed is hard to add up because i drew on convos over decades of working in a uni

i have been studying our convos with intelligent machines for over three decades

sara konrath.. studies… empathy levels of u.s. college students 40% lower than 20 yrs ago – esp sharp drop past 10 yrs

p 370

emmanuel levinas.. presence of a face calls forth the human ethical compact. – see: alterity and transcendence, michael b smith

p 371

we know that children from diff socioeconomic backgrounds develop diff language abilities. those from less advantaged backgrounds know fewer words and have slower language processing speeds. they start out *behind in their ability to express themselves…  a language deficit and a deficit in the interpersonal skills that we learn through language..

*behind – what if we’re missing out on a deeper convo between people.. one w/o words.. ie: helena in ladhok.. skip in mi. who’s to say who’s behind..?

continuous partial attention: this term was coined by tech expert linda stone.. see continuous partial attention..

p 372

that there is a congnitive and emotional side to our desire for interruption was pointed out by nicholas carr. he said: ‘we want to be interrupted, because each interruptoin brings us a valuable piece of info. to turn off these alerts is to risk feeling out of touch, or even oscially isolated.’ carr, following cory doctorow, called th eexperience of being at a computer being ‘plugged into an ecosystem of interruption technologies’ – see the shallows

open screens degrade the performance… hinder classroom learning

classroom learning – what is that.. is that what we want..

on boredom making us creative – for an overview on this point.. see scott adams – the heady thrill of having nothing to do – wall street journal, aug 6 2011,


p 372 the public convo on how the brain itself is change by online life has been shaped by the world of nicholas carr in the shallows..

true the brain is changeable.. so who’s to say if we’ve gotten more shallowed by (internet) tech or by (institutioin/school/work) tech. i know many who have woke since the internet..

nass studied the online life of young women, aged eight to twelve – a *critical time in the building of identity and a stable sense of self.

*critical time – 8-12 – are we sure..? and if we are.. is the supposed to space of an 8-12 yr old part of what’s making us all not us…? perpetuate\ing ness… science of people in schools ness..

simon baron-cohen, … ’empathy often goes hand-in-hand with self-awareness. the people who are good at empathy are not only good at picking up on other people’s feelings, but they -they’re also good at reflecting on their own behavior…… see the science of evil: on empathy and the origins of cruelty

p 381

charles taylor: internalized objects: we define our identity always in dialogue with, sometimes in struggle against, the things our significant others want to see in us. even after we outgrow some of these others – our parents, for instance – and they disappear from outlives, the convo with them continues within us as long as we live – multiculturalism: examining the politics of recognition

p 389

on google glass… and how creators want it for good.. and how sherry sees goo.. .. but have a tech doesn not mean that it is useful for every human job. for some human jobs, we may have the appropriate tech already: people in conversations.

indeed. as long as we don’t limit those conversations to certain other techs ie: words

p 392

when it comes to building this reading circuit in a brain that has no preprogrammed set-up for it, there is no genetic guarantee that any individual novie reader will ever form the expert reading brain circuitry that *most of us form

*most of us.. ? what ?

because we literally an physiologically can read in multiple ways, how we read- and what we absorb from our reading – will be influenced by both the content of our reading and the medium we use.. maryanne wolf, ‘our deep reading brain: its digital evolution poses questions..

..contribute to a mind-set toward reading that seeks to reduce info to its *lowest conceptual denomiator

*lowest – or highest.. ie: singularity ness (diff than norm defn)

p 393

boyd makes the case that what you find on the phone allows you to make sense of things by connecting the dogs.’creativity’ she says ‘is shaped more by the ability to make new connections than to focus on a single task.’ the educators i interviews suggest another view. it is important to have some material that you have made ‘your won’ by *interest in advance

*interest – indeed. and this happens naturally. not by compulsory learning of basics.. or by some assumed common path to taking stuff in ie: reading; reading as we know it now

you’ll be abel to do that with thing you know ‘*by heart

*by heart – precisely what is missing now – things we know by heart (diff – by heart.. not memory.. but map/whatever already written/started on each heart) – if we’re quiet enough to hear it..

annie murphy paul, ‘your two kinds of memory: electronic and orgnic – the brillian report aug 2014

p 394

*experts have a broader and deeper knowledge base than journeymen and novices.

*experts – this is who decides what people be/become expert at.. making people expert at your norm robs them of authentic expertise.. which is exactly what the world needs… 7 billion practicing/alive/authentic experts..

outsource memory, and culture *withers – nicholas carr, the shallows

*withers – rather then.. augment it.. and indispensable people.. wake up…

(on tech making us transcribers rather than note takers): they have a *hard time staying engaged with the content of the material

*hard – this is true anyway.. transcribing is a way to assure you got the parts you’ll be tested on .. even if/when they didn’t resonate with you (enough to add in notes) during the ie: lecture..

(on moocs et al): introducing online courseware et al..

so.. why have we not yet.. reached global equity..? perhaps because.. though it may seem/be freer.. still not free enough.. still a pkg deal.

moocs were hailed as unique environment to learn about learning. any instructional change can be tried on hundreds of thousands of students at a time. but, of course, the only pedagogical changes that can be tried are those that can take place *on a mooc

*on – indeed. place/choice.. matters. if we can free people today.. which we can.. we can’t not. this is too serious to play around with.

p 395

(on face-to-face): her research compared online-only and face-to-face learning in *studies of community-college students and faculty in virginia and washington…. comparing for-credit courses.. on line and f t f

*studies – so.. not just online and f to f.. but pkg deal‘d.. compuslory topic/track.. so not so great of research… overlooking essence of it.. authentic learning. not learning because you can.. but because you can’t not.

p 398

students avoid faculty: the complaint about students abandoning office hours goes beyond mit. and faculty can’t think of how to torn this around other than by making coming to office hours mandatory for a final grade.

nice. ugh. let’s go deeper.. no?

p 400

when we are together in same room, 7% of how we feel is conveyed by words, 38% through tone of voice and 55% through body language – albert mehrabian, silent messages: implicit communication of emotions and attitudes

p 402

gladwell – on weak ties good for new ideas.. strong ties good for revolution..




(taking this in again while reading reclaiming convo and adding page)

ted 2012 – Connected, but alone?

the central paradox.. i love getting texts but also a problem

on being excited – first ted – on what virtual world would teach us about real world

new book – new case – we’re letting tech take us places we don’t want to go.. our little devices are so psychologically powerful.. don’t just change what we do but who we are

3 min – on things we do normally now that would have seemed odd years ago.. then .. talks of texting during work/meetings/school

and this is my big issue with reclaiming convo.. the fact that so many text during all those – supposed to spaces – (work/meetings/school) – might indeed tell us something about what the tech is doing to us.. but perhaps deeper .. about those things we were doing in the first place. supposed to’s are killing/suffocating us. our obsessions w/tech is screaming/whispering/pleading at us.. to notice that.

4 min – this is setting us up for trouble.. in how we relate to others and ourselves (self-reflection)

indeed.. but the trouble is already there.. the blockage of 2 convos is already consuming us.. compulsor izing us.

the thing that matters most – is control over where you put your attention.. can end up hiding from each other even when connected.

most people are other people already

6 min – on adolescent needing to develop f to f relationships

so why school..?

what’s wrong w/ conversation – takes place in real time and can’t control it

texting et al.. let’s us edit.. so we can present self we want – goldilocks effect

when we clean relationships up with tech we go from conversation to connection..

we’ve mostly had neither in the past

8 min – we learn from having convos w/others how to have convos w/self.. so vital to youth

again – so why school..

why not – a nother way – w/self-talk as data.. as the day 

9 min – feeling that no one is listening to me makes us want to spend time with machines..

again – that’s before tech.. we design the day to not be listened to..

12 min – why have things come to this..? tech comes to us most where we are most vulnerable.. we’re lonely, empty.. we turn to tech to help us feel connected…

indeed – deep enough.. 2 needs/desires

1\ put attention where we want 2\ always be heard 3\ never have to be alone  – third is huge.. being alone is seen as a problem.. connection is more like a symptom than a cure.. 

yes.. a symptom… that.

13 min – problem w/ new regime of i share therefore i am.. is that if we don’t have connection we don’t feel like ourselves.. so we set ourselves up to be isolated..

14 min – you end up isolated if you don’t cultivate the capacity for solitude.. the ability to be separate.. to gather yourself.. solitude is where you find yourself so you can reach out to other people and form attachments…

a and a

when we don’t have the capacity for solitude we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious in order to feel alive.. when this happens we’re not able to appreciate who they are.. as though we’re using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self

we slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel less alone.. actually opposite is true.. if we’re not able to be alone we’re going to be more lonely.. and if we don’t teach our children to be alone.. they’re only going to be lonely..

again – school is perpetuate\ing this.. tech use is screaming that to us.. we have to fix the day.. free the day…

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake

15 min – those who make most of lives on screen come to it in a spirit of self-reflection

reconsider how we use it..

start thinking of solitude as a good thing..

find ways to demo this as a value to children.. at work..

ie: these institutions need to be called out.. made irrelevant even

we have everything we need to start.. we have each other


find/follow Sherry:

link twitter

her site:

her page on mit site:

wikipedia small

Sherry Turkle (born June 18, 1948) is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She obtained a BA in Social Studies and later a Ph.D. in Sociology and Personality Psychology at Harvard University. She now focuses her research on psychoanalysis and human-technology interaction. She has written several books focusing on the psychology of human relationships with technology, especially in the realm of how people relate to computational objects.


to s: perhaps a better/deep enough way to reclaim convo is by reclaiming the day.

you write: i have a fantasy .. people will develop a dual sensibility: the psychoanalytic and computer culture will find their necessary points of synergy..

indeed, ie: a nother way – w/self-talk as data.. as the day 

we need to be brave enough to model a means to leap frog to a world of wandering ness.. as the day.

you write p 355 –

why would we play with fire when it comes to such delicate matters.?


mar 2016 – mit talk w/ mitch resnick:

seymour helped me to see children in a new way – sherry taught me.. tech wasn’t just for getting things done – on subjective side of computer… mr

i became fascinated w/programming.. and how it was helping us reflect.. st

kids shifting framing from a little smarter than animals.. to a little more feeling than machines.. – st via mr

70s-80s – my work was 1on1 w/computer.. then work with people online… identity in the age of the internet – st

i wanted to bring the study of the internet deep into what psychologists study.. and that was hard then….then… seen as psychologist asking people to study net..and today .. perceived more as internet critic

many saw internet as opening up rational thinking space.. and you saw it as opening up a playground – mr

turning point… paper (w/seymour) based on children working w/logo.. programming came alive and made kids come alive.. i would do psych tests on children.. and i discovered that depending on who they were they’d approach programming in diff ways..  it was a warshaw about the deeper individual… so spoke to both science and psych…  not just a rote tech subject.. new way for people to express who they are as people.. it’s very hard for people to run with that… something about this tech.. where having the box closed and seeing it as something as apps that gets things done has been extremely seductive… appification of this tech has been delicious/irresistable.. rather than of expression… –  st

on how steve mann wore the web to have a deep experience – spoke of his experiences… there and somewhere else.. – st

on this tech companion taking the place of something else.. – mr

on people going from .. this (robotic) is better than nothing.. to better than something this is better than puppy – will never grow up.. will never die .. this is something we have to be attentive to –  st

we fanticize of this easier way ( w tech) of the messiness of human relationships… why so quickly to replace – st

the irony of in the age of hyperconnectivity.. there’s a diminishment of certain aspects.. – mr  (not seeing how people respond)

most important message – capacity for empathic relationship begins in capacity for solitude.. – st  – on being content w/o constant steady stream from outside…

i’m very pro tech.. i’m just also pro convo – st

memory becoming a more problematic notion.. it panics me to be w/o my computer.. my computer has become my memory prothetic.. ie: history of relationships .. the way people used to have letters… but i have a daily correspondance…  on ie: email… so my memory so much resides and i’m so attached to parts i have externalized.. – st

on people talking about glass.. to get rid of burden of memory… do we want that.. – st

no but.. that’s not how steven mann seemed to use it.. deeper not either or…

on using tech to get rid of friction… of ie: people interactions.. – st

like trying to make a chip that doesn’t produce waste heat.. so thinking.. partly good.. thinking… wanted and unwanted stress ness

story here is still not clear of how people want to be with each other… – st

spot on .. but perhaps..less about tech or no and more about science of people in schools ness – the perpetuation of not us ness… broken feedback loop – tech is peripheral to that.. unless we call ie: school .. tech..

on comparing vr app to going to theatre.. on theatre begins convo of curiosity… making it sound like vr app is so that you don’t have to talk.. – st

i think theatre et al.. gets you away from talking and.. i think vr could make us more into convos of imagination..  i don’t know..

keeps talking about fantasies of replacement.. – st

perhaps.. we look more at why … it’s seductive – and how we can change that..

i think the reason tech is seductive – st

perhaps tech is seductive because.. we don’t know how to be with each other.. and most of us are not ourselves  – sometimes tech taps in deeper… but either way… tech is just a symptom of a much deeper problem…


part of stream:


@jedmiller@STurkle I share her horror at using bots to manage elderly, disabled or kids. Texting? I think that supplements face-to-face.


@zeynep@jedmiller I agree that texting supplements face-to-face. Long may it supplement!



part of time well spent team